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especially in moral and religious matters; for there is a wide
meaning goddess), and, “last but not least,” the old heroic and folk tales, and these principally Irish. The epic literature of Ireland falls into three divisions—the mythological, the Cuchulainn, and the Ossianic. This is the chronological order. The completeness of Irish history, beginning with “the first ‘taking' of Ireland by Caesair and her attendants forty days before the flood,” has become proverbial. From such sources, Mr. Macbain, who afterwards gives an ingenious and amusing analysis of the “Bardic Tales of Ireland,” has exhumed the leading deities of the Celtic race. As with the Greeks and Romans, their gods were believed to have originally colonised the country. So Dagda Mor (the “good god"), is the Gaelic Jove; Manannan, son of Lir, represents Mercury; Luga of the Long Arms (for rays of the sun), Apollo; Bridget, the fire goddess, afterwards utilised, by a common practice, as the Christian St. Bridget, with others, of whom details are given. With such a paucity and obstinacy of material, it is matter for wonder that Mr. Macbain has succeeded so well in this part of his task. His independent agreement, as to general results, with the conclusions of M. D'Arbois de Jubainville, attests the caution with which he has depicted the longhidden features of the Celtic deities, and thus performed a distinct service to our race, as well as contributed an interesting chapter in comparative mythology. It it to be hoped that his scientific method and philological acquirements will yet find even more fitting scope in the preparation of a work dealing with many relative questions that still remain unsettled in the same line of study.
IMPRESSIONS IN BENDERLOCH.
PERHAPs no district of the West Highlands is more beautiful than that part of Argyleshire between Loch-Creran and LochEtive, known as Benderloch—or the hill between the Lochs—so named from the mountainous ridge called Sedaig Hill, or BenLora, which rolls away in broken summits from the steep cliff of Dunvalauree above Ledaig, till it joins the mountains of GlenEtive. On either side of it is a loch, and in front the salt waves of Loch-Linnhe rush in, fresh with the briny smell of the Atlantic, and clash themselves on the steep rocks of Beregonium, or the shingly shores of Ledaig and Ardmuchnish Bays.
Only seven miles from Oban, and three from the Railway Station of South Connel, our abode in Benderloch, thanks to the famous and much-dreaded Connel Ferry, was as far out of the world as some far-off Isle of the sea-girt Hebrides; and to those who, like ourselves, prefer rest and quietness to a fashionable holiday resort, even to much-belauded, tourist-haunted Oban, Benderloch, owing to the scarcity of lodgings, and the Shian and Connel Ferries, is simply perfect. It is surrounded on all sides by the beautiful hills of Morven and Kingairloch, and in the distance the Glencoe range, and the mountain peaks of Ben-Nevis and BenCruachan, both crowned with snow before we left the district, give grandeur and dignity to the landscape. The neighbourhood is rich in antiquarian remains, and there are delightful walks, hillclimbing, and boating ; and in all directions the most wonderful views, with marvellous effects of light and shadow, cloud and sunshine.
Tourists from Oban go to see the famous Falls of Lora, which make Connel Ferry so disagreeable, where the waters of LochEtive rush with great force through a narrow passage and over a rocky ridge, some forty-eight feet high, into Loch-Linnhe, and the waters of Loch-Linnhe, with all the force of the returning tide, rush back again into Loch-Etive, the wind-driven waves from the sea loch meeting the falls; and, in certain states of wind and tide, making the ferry at Connel a magnificent mass of broken water and seething foam, but quite impassable for the unlucky traveller.
To return to the tourists, however, the more adventurous of them cross the falls, doubtless to inspect the vitrified fort of Beregonium, but they seldom go further, so Selma and its neighbourhood are absolutely solitary. As you walk towards Selma from North Connelsun, past the long bleak stretch of Connel Moss, on which so many interesting antiquarian remains have been found, you see Ben-Cruachan on your right, and on your left, beyond Loch-Linnhe, the mountains of Mull and Morven. The first object of interest is Ledaig Postoffice, the residence of Mr. John Campbell, the well-known Gaelic poet. Mr. Campbell is a naturalist and a florist as well as a poet, and is learned in all the antiquarian and folk-lore of the district, and we know no pleasanter place to pass a cheery autumn afternoon than the courteous old poet's beautiful garden, under the steep cliff of Dunvalauree. This garden, of which many years ago Mr. Campbell received a grant from the factor, was only so much waste land on the loch shore and the rock face, but the care and industry of the poet and his family have transformed it into a perfect paradise, where many rare plants, most uncommon in out-door gardens in Scotland, come into bloom year after year in perfect health and beauty. Here, we are told by the writer of “Benderloch," ripe strawberries have been found out of doors in the last week of May, and here the poet himself has told us he has gathered a rose on Christmas morning ; and certainly, when we saw the Post-office of Sedaig in a wet and stormy September, it was bright with roses and clematis, and a perfect bower of delicate shrubs and scenery. If you are fortunate enough to make the post-master's acquaintance, and with old-fashioned Highland courtesy he extends a cordial welcome to all, you may go in and see for yourself one of the smallest and quaintest post-offices in Her Majesty's dominions, through which, by the way, we were told by Mr. Campbell there pass a fair number of telegrams, and often as many as a thousaud letters a week, which says something surely for the education and intelligence of the crosters, of whom, for there are few large houses, the sparse and scattered population consists. In his pretty parlour, where the red roses pass in at the windows, the poet has a little library, of which many a wealthier man might be proud, for not a few of his well-chosen books are presentation copies, the authors of which are numbered among his friends. Here he will show you the urn found in the cliff of Dunvalauree, the red agate used as a charm-stone for cattle in more credulous days, and an old weapon of the stone-age which was used till within quite recent times as a charm for the ailments of horses. He has also a very curious charm-stone long applied
to for the cure of human ills; the people, applying for cure of an